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A Night with The Hellcat Saints


hahninator
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As we reported on June 16th, Chester joined The Hellcat Saints on June 14th for a party celebrating the release of a new video game. Guitarist Dave Kushner of Velvet Revolver was kind enough to sit down with us to discuss the event.

chester1.jpg



How did Hellcat Saints come about? Did you create the band yourself to play rock covers with your friends for fun? It is sort of a succession of the Camp Freddy style?

The Hellcat Saints is all-star 'cover' band featuring a revolving group of musicians created by me. The origin of the band was simple...form a rock n' roll supergroup with friends and music luminaries in order to help others. This model isn't rocket science. It all started way back in 1970 with George Harrison and the Concert for Bangladesh, where the true supergroups were born. Not to say the Hellcat Saints exist for only altruistic reasons. The point is to play with peers and friends and entertain the hell out of whatever audience we're in front of. With this band, you have it all! High quality 'star power' hits to deep tracks and a group of musicians that leave 1000% on that stage after each and every show!


Camp Freddy, one of the premiere all-star rock cover bands, existed from 2002 to 2013 and is now replaced by Royal Machines and The Hellcat Saints, both of which feature extensive lineups of stars.


How do you decide the lineup for the shows you perform?

The lineup mostly has to do with the client, charity, and event. The thing we like to do that's a little different than the other bands doing similar things is, we like to tailor the band to the event, not just the singers. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and as a result, I know a LOT of people in bands!


Some guests play for part of the show and others play the full show. The lineup for this show was:
- Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver) (guitar)
- Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses) (guitar)

- Robin Finck (Nine Inch Nails) (guitar)
- Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne) (bass)
- Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age, Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts) (drums)
- Franky Perez (Apocalyptica) (vocals)
- Chester Bennington (vocals)
To see which musicians played on which songs, click here.

show.jpg



This was a private show for E3, correct?

Yes, but more specifically for the Gung Ho gaming company for a specific video game called Let It Die, which is coming out in the next few months.


Did you guys just approach Chester and say "want to guest on a few classic rock songs?" or did he come to you?

I've known Chester for a while. I've played with him a few times in other bands like Camp Freddy and we've just seen each other around for years. I emailed him and asked if he was into it, and he said yes. It was literally that simple. Playing with him and that lineup was an amazing thrill for me! He's just so rad on and off stage. A great hand and a great night of rock!

chesterdave.jpg



SETLIST:
01. Hello There (Cheap Trick)*
02. Highway To Hell (AC/DC)*
03. Thunder Kiss '65 (White Zombie)*
04. Mother (Danzig)*
05. Bodies (Drowning Pool)*
06. Highway Star (Deep Purple)*
07. Helter Skelter (The Beatles)*
08. Kick Out The Jams (MC5)*
09. Hole In The Sky (Black Sabbath)**
10. Them Bones (Alice In Chains)**
11. Down (Stone Temple Pilots)**
12. Ace Of Spades (Motörhead)**
13. Paradise City (Guns N' Roses)**
* w/ Franky Perez on vocals
** w/ Chester Bennington on vocals



A few more things about this show....
- This show marks the second time that Chester performed a Stone Temple Pilots song without the rest of the band since his Grey Daze days, with the first time being his Dell World 2012.12.11 appearance with Camp Freddy. Interestingly, Joey Castillo was Scott Weiland's drummer for Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts.
- After guesting with other artists most of his career, Chester had zero guest appearances with other artists in 2013, 2014, or 2015, which ironically were the three years that he was lead singer of Stone Temple Pilots. There were 10 total appearances with Camp Freddy from 2006-2012. All of his guest appearances can be found here.
- The performance was just Chester's second in 2016, coming after the one-off Stone Temple Pilots show in March.





Thanks to Dave for answering a few questions about the show!
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Cool little interview. I've always loved seeing Chester do charity covers. He always puts 100% into the performance, and I love showing people and seeing their reactions to his voice. He was amazing in the videos that Church put up a few years ago. (Bullet with Butterfly Wings, Whole Lotta Love, & Mountain Song) It is interesting that they chose Frankie Perez from Apocalyptica instead of someone else a little more famous, but he's still got a pretty good voice, so it's a good fit.

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Franky indeed sounds good. I'd really like to see Chester do more of these shows, especially with Hellcat Saints. He obviously vibes really well with this lineup, better than some of the ones I've seen before. The Whole Lotta Love video you posted is probably my favorite live performance by him ever.

These "all star" bands that play classic rock songs are truly something special. I actually don't think the musicians that play in them know how many fans of music love it. I'd easily pay over $50 to see Chester, Corey Taylor, etc (I could go on for ages) join a lineup like this.

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Thanks for getting Dave, a really great musician. Some of you might know that I love when Chester guests in other bands it's just something totally different he really shows his range I wonder why Chester wasted the chance to sounr like this in The Hunting Party instead he decided to sound totally flat like in ALITS.

 

Hope to see Chester once again with the Hellcat S. I would pay a lot of money to see Chester with a professional all star rock band.

 

Remember Bucket of Weenies? oh god they sounded totally amateur, what a waste of time.

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It is interesting that they chose Frankie Perez from Apocalyptica instead of someone else a little more famous, but he's still got a pretty good voice, so it's a good fit.

Franky Perez had a project with Dave Kushner called DKFXP. He had also performed with similar bands like Camp Freddy, Ducati All-Stars, and Royal Machines before.

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Robin Finck plays guitar, not drums...he took over for Gilby Clarke for the last 5 songs. Not sure why both the list of band members here and the show page list him as playing drums. Joey Castillo played drums for the whole show.

Kind of hoping this becomes a semi-regular thing for Chester, I miss the days when we could count on him doing a few Camp Freddy appearances every year. He always sounds great.

 

Thanks for getting Dave, a really great musician. Some of you might know that I love when Chester guests in other bands it's just something totally different he really shows his range I wonder why Chester wasted the chance to sounr like this in The Hunting Party instead he decided to sound totally flat like in ALITS.

Hope to see Chester once again with the Hellcat S. I would pay a lot of money to see Chester with a professional all star rock band.

Remember Bucket of Weenies? oh god they sounded totally amateur, what a waste of time.

I think the reason Bucket of Weenies sounded so bad was that other than maybe Sean, all of them were always absolutely trashed when they performed.

Edited by Astat
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Robin Finck plays guitar, not drums...he took over for Gilby Clarke for the last 5 songs. Not sure why both the list of band members here and the show page list him as playing drums. Joey Castillo played drums for the whole show.

Because I mistakenly mixed up Finch and Freese :rolleyes:

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  • 2 weeks later...

These are the shows that really remind how great of a vocalist Chester actually is. This is much more his style based on his voice as opposed to most LP stuff. Stupidly talented singer. Great short interview here, really awesome that you were able to get him. Let's hope we see more of these shows in the future now that Chester's schedule is less full.

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